A hand lettered Quote Mural
Updated: Oct 9, 2022
These are some great quotes to live by...
"Imagine life is a dream."
"Kindness is key."
"The first duty of love is to listen."
What quotes would you choose to see in your home every day?
When Nick came to me, he had a strong vision.
He wanted to transform the hallway at home by featuring some of his favourite quotes and sayings - a daily, visual reminder of words that capture how special the universe is, how precious time is and where his family values lie. Something special that he, his wife and daughters would see every day. What a beautiful and meaningful idea!!
We arranged for an art consultation and I visited Nick and his wife to chat in more detail, discuss options and get a feel for the space. We confirmed the exact quotes (Nick had collected many good ones!) and I suggested a maximum of 15 - I didn't want the wall to feel cluttered or overwhelming. I planned to leave plenty of white space for an elegant look for a space that already had elegant artworks and beautiful downlighting.
During concept design, I created all of the hand lettering for each of the quotes on my iPad Pro (some were written over and over until I was happy, and others flowed perfectly the first time - it is always the way!).
Nick identified which of his favourite quotes would be more prominent in size on the wall and that we would include the author names for each quote where known. With this information, I prepared a layout matching his wall dimensions of 2.4m high x 4m wide, moving the quotes around and playing with sizes and colours until it looked balanced. I use Adobe Fresco on the iPad to create the hand lettering, and then transfer over to Adobe Illustrator on my desktop to create the final artwork to size, in crisp vector format that can be enlarged to literally any size without losing quality or resolution.
I drew my inspiration for the colour palette from the warm, golden tones in an abstract art piece and orange Grandfather Clock they already owned, both of which were positioned at each end of the hallway. My colour palette featured warm oranges, soft browns, beiges and I couldn't help but throw in a few pinks for the girls in the family! Nick and his family reviewed (and tweaked) the layout and colours before it was finalised.
Tiny Giraffe specialises in wallpaper murals, but part way through the project Nick advised they would prefer a painted finish (they had a newly painted wall with feature downlights) and actually wanted to paint it themselves, a creative activity to do together!
I must admit I was nervous about handing over the installation part of the project. But it inspired me to figure out how to make the installation as easy as possible for them to achieve a high quality finish. An obvious choice was to set up a projector, to project my hand lettered artwork onto the wall so they could trace it with paint, but the width of the hallway made it impossible.
My final solution was to create an 'inverse' stencil template for each quote, using adhesive decals. With a solid decal background and the words cut out ('weeding' is the term that printers use), the stencil could be stuck to the wall and painted over. When you peel the decal off, the painted words remain.
For this to work, there is a trick - to avoid leaving behind just a solid word shape, the tricky and time consuming part is to reapply every 'hole' of every letter back onto the wall before painting ie. letters like 'a' and 'e' and 'o'. The supplier I worked with promised that this was achievable, and spent considerable time weeding out the words from the backing while leaving the holes in place.
With the templates on order, I ordered a fine art print of my colour palette and took it along to Porters Paints to colour match the artwork. The lovely Jan Searle from Urban Colour works there, and together we found beautiful colours to match my palette.
There were 8 colours in 100ml pot sizes for this mural. During this time I also created a PDF guide for the family, with set-out measurements for each stencil. I am not sure how accurate it was, depending on the final size of each stencil, but I think it helped.
I delivered the paint and the stencils, and waited nervously for feedback. Nick's wife tackled the painting, injecting her weekends with creativity.
When Nick emailed some progress photos through, I knew it was going to be special. And when the hand lettered mural was finished, I visited to take photos. Nick's wife told me she enjoyed it, as she struggles to design but loves to use her hands to create things with some guidance. She did such a brilliant job - I was so impressed.
The inverse templates worked a treat, with minimal bleed and only one small mishap of peeled paint from the adhesive stencils (decals can be difficult in this way and I did worry about this happening). There is also the tricky task of overlapping stencils and working around each one.
Hand painted with three coats, the words have an embossed feel due to the paint thickness over the wall's base coat. It’s very beautiful to see all the roller and brush strokes up close in person.
I believe one of the most important things I can do as an artist is to inspire and offer moments for reflection. I hope this mural gives Nick and his family a few of those precious moments, to enjoy for a long time.
And the most important thing I can do as a designer is to consider materiality, longevity, form and function to create a high quality outcome for a better environment.
I’m really proud of this project.
And I'm incredibly proud of my clients - for trusting me with their vision and taking on the installation with such respect for the integrity of my original layout and lettering.
If you would love to tell your story through a unique mural, for your home or business, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org